Do you love dogs? Do you have a habit of chewing gum that you cannot help having a piece or two in your pouch? If the answer to the two questions is yes, then this piece is for you. According to an article from Eyewitness News, a couple is issuing a warning to poodle keepers after their dog died from eating gum. While gum might seem like a harmless snack, it may contain some ingredients incompatible to the digestive system of your pet. The gum in question is the sugar-free variety that contains a substance, xylitol, that may cause organ damage mainly affecting the liver of your poodle.
The Couple’s Account
According to the couple, their 6-year old pointer started feeling unwell after it came across a pack of their gum. They tried to rush their pet to the veterinarian; however, on arrival, the dog was already experiencing liver failure. The situation, looking dire, compelled them to take the dog out of its misery.
Gum is dangerous to not only dogs but also other animals due to the aforementioned substance, xylitol. It is an insulin activator, present in several sugar-free meals that are the fad with the diabetics. When your dog ingests xylitol in any meal, its blood sugar drops significantly, with the effects observable in ten minutes to an hour. The hypoglycemic conditions are too harsh for most canines to withstand and may lead to their untimely death.
- During this period, the following are the noticeable symptoms.
- Uncoordinated movement, which results in staggering.
- General body weakness.
- In severe cases, seizures can get into the mix.
- Blood in stool and low blood pressure
Most of the time, the onset of the symptoms is fast in like 30 minutes. Rarely do they take some time to show, however, the effects are severe nonetheless.
Taking Note Of What Your Dog Has Ingested
As evident from the US food and drug administration, gum is not the only food that can contain xylitol. There are other foods, mostly the ones which have the sugar alternated for another sweetener, which have the substance. As earlier indicated, the meals are mainly for people with diabetes who have an issue with increased blood sugar due to insulin insufficiency. Among the foods you need to keep off from your canine include the following.
- Mouthwash and toothpaste
- Sugar-free baked products and desserts such as ice cream and soda
- Chewable vitamins; for both adults and children
- Peanut butter and other nut derivatives
- Cough syrup and breath mints
- Dietary supplements
What To Do In Case Of Ingestion
In case your dog takes in a meal that you suspect to have xylitol, call your vet immediately. He or she will give you instructions to follow to help your dog out. You can also rush the poodle to the nearest animal health center to curb the effects of reduced blood sugar. Unless you are qualified, do not try taking matters in your own hands as you can further aggravate the condition. Also have the material ingested with you, to provide the veterinary with a clear picture of what he or she has on their table.
Once you alert your vet of the problem you have, he or she will conduct some tests, mostly liver and kidney tests. The experiments confirm your suspicion of toxicity and also note how severe it is. The vet may put your pet under an intravenous drip to stabilize the low blood pressure and also try to improve the blood sugar levels. Other antioxidants may also be administered alongside vitamins C, E and K1. The administration boosts the electrolyte balance, focusing on potassium and phosphorus levels. If the effects are overwhelming to appoint of affecting the blood, transfusion may be a worthy option to save your dog’s life. This is usually the case where there is interference with blood clotting factors. Once you get home after the visit to the vet, you need to have the poodle in a calm resting place. You may need to give it some antibiotics or glucose solution depending on the advice of the animal physician. In case of any arising issues, contact the vet for further instructions.
Effect On Other Animals
Apart from dogs, you need to look at your other pets, mostly the carnivorous types such as cats and ferrets. Both have quite weak digestive systems when it comes to a substance such as xylitol. However, the good thing with cats is that they can keep off, especially if in sweets and other items such as toothpaste.
Prevention is always a better option. To prevent your poodle from getting into the pain that is xylitol intoxication, you need to keep it away from food with the substance. Keep such foods away from its reach and if you are eating and it wants a bite, be the bad parent and decline. Instead, get it a better meal. Also, avoid using your toothpaste and mouthwash for its oral hygiene needs. Consult with your veterinarian on a suitable option. The same applies to its supplements, never should you give it human supplements even when you know its deficiency.
As confirmed from Dogtime, gum ranks, among other foods that you should not feed your beloved canines. The words to guide are ‘human safe is not necessarily pet safe.’ It translates to what you deem is safe to you may affect your pets’ health. Apart from chocolate and onions, chewing gum is a surprise entrant on the list considering how common it is. Avoid the sugar-free variety, mostly as it may contain xylitol which is an insulin activating agent. The activation rate is quite fast in dogs, and in a matter of a few minutes, it can have your furry friend in a severe state of low blood sugar. In the event of such an occurrence, pay a quick visit to your vet. Thanks to the couple for offering the exciting tidbit on chewing gum on dog health and condolences to their passed away pointer.